When the El Presidente condominium went up on Siesta Key's white sands back in 1974, the developer fashioned an oversized living space for his family on the top floor by combining two complete residences and multiple terraces for a lavish 4,100-square-foot beachfront residence.
Dr. Steve Scully and wife Diane of Andover, Massachusetts, saw the place nearly 30 years later, and were swept away by location and view. Now all they needed was a demolition team.
"The condo was divided into lots of small spaces," explains their interior designer, Jeff Hart, "because that was the thinking at the time. Cozy kitchen, separate den, little family room, small Florida room where the kids could watch television, a glassed arborarium for plants, walls and sliding glass doors and dividers everywhere." There were even a bar and a large fish tank built into a wall unit between kitchen and dining areas, reducing the cook's waterfront view to the size of a porthole.
Walls came tumbling down and entryways were created or enlarged to unify living space. Outdated arched doorways were replaced with handsome traditional frames. The entry hall borrowed a few square feet of space from the den and was transformed from a dark and narrow hallway into a handsome, airy foyer. When the hammers quieted and the dust settled, the Scullys' living space seemed immense. Rooms instantly filled with natural light, and the view flowed from foyer to horizon.
Demolition was taken down to the studs, and upon completion the Scullys found themselves selecting finishes to complement their new floors, walls, ceilings. Hart advised a neutral color scheme to avoid competing with the spectacular backdrop of sea and sky. And Diane wanted warmth, so the tones turned gold-hued, richly warmed by wood finishes with accents of cream. The stunning gourmet kitchen features dramatic pewter granite against creamy yellow cabinetry and faux painted wall tiles. Hart's intent was to create the feel of perpetual sunshine; and the Scullys' home does appear to be washed in sunlight, no matter the weather conditions.
Furnishings offer a mix of natural materials with reeds, leather-wrapped rattan and bamboo. Metal finishes are bronzed, and upholstered pieces are oversized and plush in velours and chenille-like fabrications. The handsome dining room table expands for entertaining, and a charming glass-topped table across the room is perfect for cards and games or breakfast for two. Plantation shutters painted ivory close for privacy and fold back to reveal sparkling water and endless stretch of beach. Exterior doors and windows are all brand-new, with electric hurricane shutters that offer total security. Smart outdoor furniture in eucalyptus green creates comfortable seating and dining areas al fresco, and the condo's southwestern exposure allows the Scullys to follow the sun all day.
"I read on the bedroom terrace in the early morning, face west to the water all day on the back terrace and then watch the sun set from the dining room," says Dr. Scully. "This is why you come to Sarasota."
Faux painting by Lori Frary
Custom bar and built-in cabinets by John Dalton of Dalton Design Workshop
Porcelain tile floors with listelo by Robb & Stucky
Kitchen by Cook's Cabinetry
Furnishings and accessories by Robb & Stucky
Contractor - Scott Frieler